Covid-19 - Testing
With the country in a third national lockdown and new more virulent strains of Covid-19 circulating, it is more important than ever to control the spread of the virus in our communities to protect or vulnerable residents and health and care services. It is currently against the law for people to be outside of their home without good reason, but some people do need to leave home for:
• Work where they cannot work from home
• Essential shopping for food or medicine
• To provide care for someone vulnerable
Staffordshire County Council is offering these people regular rapid tests, otherwise known as Lateral Flow Tests, to help find and isolate cases of Covid-19 and minimise the spread of the virus. Rapid testing allows people without symptoms to get tested and receive their results in under an hour. This is important as 1 in 3 people infected with coronavirus do not show symptoms but may be infectious and can pass it on to others.
The NHS has made a fantastic start rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine to eligible groups, but it will be months before the full benefit of the vaccine programme is truly felt with enough people vaccinated. That is why regular testing is vital in the meantime. In the short term people are encourage to get tested regularly if they cannot work from home or need to make essential visits. In the longer term, as lockdown is eased, regular testing of everyone will be one way to minimise the spread of the virus.
There is at least one community testing centre in each district and borough and more are being set up in some of larger businesses and housing schemes. This makes testing quick and convenient. For people with positive results it allows contact tracing to begin immediately. For people who test negative they can get their result right away.
People without symptoms can book a test by visiting www.staffordshire.gov.uk/testing.
People with symptoms of Covid-19 such as a new cough, high temperature and loss of taste and smell, need to continue to book a test via www.gov.uk/coroanvirus or by calling 119.
Already, thousands of people across the county have had a rapid test to protect their families, friends, businesses and communities. Please return the favour.